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Northcentral Technical College bans tobacco use (and vaping) on all campuses

NTC Tobacco Free CampusNORTHERN WISCONSIN – Many colleges across Wisconsin ban tobacco on campus. Now, Northcentral Technical College can join that group.

As of August 1st, all NTC campuses banned tobacco on campus, including chewing tobacco and E-cigarettes. NTC staff sees this as a way to protect student health.

“As we looked at the overall wellness of our students, staff, and our visitors, we felt like that shift was a positive shift to make,” said NTC Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan. “But we made that shift with the intention of also offering resources and services to those students and staff who are interested in quitting the use of tobacco.”
The change got rid of designated smoking zones. NTC staff says student feedback has been positive so far.
“Students appreciate the fact that they don’t have to walk through smoke or see the tobacco use on campus,” said Sullivan. “Obviously there are some students who have questions and we’ve been dealing with those students individually, offering to have conversations with them to get their feedback, because we think everybody’s feedback is important.”
There will be penalties [$25 for the third offense, possible expulsion and being banned from campus] for those who don’t follow the rules.
“I think initially we’re going to go with a strong educational slant with our enforcement, educating people on the new policy, issuing warning,” said Sullivan. “If we see people are repeatedly violating the new policy then there are consequences, there are fines, and then there’s also possible disciplinary action for students.”
NTC campuses serve about 4,000 students. NTC is offering resources for students who want to quit tobacco use.
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Why Is The CDC Lying About E-Cigarettes?

4-23-15
Forbes
Jacob Sullum

For years anti-smoking activists and public health officials have tried to justify their irrational hatred of electronic cigarettes by arguing that vaping leads to smoking, especially among impressionable young people who otherwise would never touch tobacco. But that is not happening. To the contrary, vaping and smoking rates among teenagers are moving in opposite directions. Rather than admit they were wrong to claim that e-cigarettes are a “gateway” to the conventional kind, opponents of vaping have escalated their prevarications by implying, in defiance of all scientific evidence, that there is no important difference between the two kinds of nicotine delivery devices.

According to the latest numbers from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released last week, 13.4 percent of high school students reported past-month use of e-cigarettes in 2014, up from 4.5 percent in 2013. During the same period, the rate of past-month e-cigarette use among middle school students rose from 1.1 percent to 3.9 percent. “E-Cigarette Use Triples Among Middle and High School Students in Just One Year,” said the headline over the CDC’s press release, which spawned myriad news reports highlighting that point.

2015 High School Tobacco Use Vs Ecigarettes

 

Less noticed was a fact relegated to the fourth paragraph: “Cigarette use declined among high school students and remained unchanged for middle school students.” Among high school students, 9.2 percent reported past-month cigarette use in 2014, down from 12.7 percent in 2013. Among middle school students, 2.5 percent reported past-month cigarette use, down from 2.9 percent in 2013. The latter drop was not statistically significant, which is why the CDC says the rate “remained unchanged.”

The divergence between vaping and smoking is even more dramatic when you look at the period from 2011 through 2014, when the rate of past-month e-cigarette use rose from 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent among high school students and from 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent among middle school students. Meanwhile, past-month cigarette smoking fell from 15.8 percent to 9.2 percent in the older group and from 4.3 percent to 2.5 percent in the younger group. Needless to say, this is not what you would expect to see if vaping encouraged smoking.

If anything, these data suggest that e-cigarettes are replacing the real thing. As one tobacco researcher told The New York Times, “They’re not a gateway in, and they might be accelerating the gateway out.” That cannot be anything but good news from a public health perspective, given the huge difference in risk between vaping and smoking.

The CDC refuses to see it that way. “This is a really bad thing,” CDC Director Tom Frieden told the Times. “This is another generation being hooked by the tobacco industry. It makes me angry.”

Read Original Article on Forbes ->

WSAC responds to misleading Marathon Co Health Dept Q&A

Public Health officials should acknowledge that the benefits of smokers quitting smoking far outweigh the minor risks of vapor - even to bystanders.

Public Health officials should acknowledge that the benefits of smokers quitting smoking far outweigh the minor risks of vapor – even to bystanders.

Destinee Coenen, a public health educator with the Marathon County Health Department who is part of the Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition, recently wrote this  misleading and counterfactual response to a reader’s question about electronic cigarettes in the Wausau Daily Herald. WSAC responds:

Once again, public health lands on the wrong side of the vapor product debate.  Public health should be encouraging smokers to switch to these safer products, rather than making baseless claims. It seems like they’d rather smokers keep smoking!

There is no evidence that vapor is “invading clean air.” In fact, the vapor has antibacterial properties.

No one claims vapor products are “healthy,” only that they are orders of magnitudes safer than conventional cigarettes. Even Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, has stated “If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health.”

These products aren’t for non-smokers, they are for smokers, who are exposed to thousands of chemicals and dozens of carcinogens. The small amount of vapor a non-smoker would be exposed to in public spaces pales in comparision to the health risks to a smoker and his family if he keeps smoking. Unfounded health scares only serve to keep those smokers smoking.

The “chemicals detected” in vapor products have not been found in harmful levels and it is disingenuous of public health officials to not disclose that fact and make it seem like there have been harmful levels found. The formadehyde story has been criticized for its inaccuracy. Formaldehyde has not been found when the products are used as intended. Researchers only found formaldehyde when the devices were heated to levels far beyond normal use. Yet, public health keeps making this false claim.

Some smokers who use e-cigarettes do continue to smoke, but they smoke less cigarettes than before. Those smokers are typically just starting out and haven’t switched completely yet. Or they are using an inferior device – like something they may have purchased at a gas station.

“Public Health officials should acknowledge that the benefits of smokers quitting smoking far outweigh the minor risks of vapor – even to bystanders.”

Even so, the FDA recently changed the requirements for nicotine replacement products, such as gums and lozenges, removing the requirement to tell consumers not to continue smoking while using the products and to use them no longer than 12 weeks. These changes were SUPPORTED by Public Health groups. According to the FDA: “There are no significant safety concerns associated with using more than one [nicotine product] at the same time, or using [a nicotine cessation product] at the same time as another nicotine-containing product—including a cigarette. If you are using [a nicotine cessation product] while trying to quit smoking but slip up and have a cigarette, you should not stop using the [nicotine cessation product]. You should keep using the [nicotine cessation product] and keep trying to quit.”

Clearly, “dual use” of those nicotine products are not a concern, so why should it be a concern for those using vapor products? Many people using e-cigarettes are still transitioning and haven’t quit fully yet. There is no evidence that those folks will NEVER quit. In fact, hundreds of thousands of smokers are reporting that they have completely quit!

E-cigarettes may not have been “proven safe,” however, after 10 years on the market, researchers have failed to find anything but minor health risks to adult smokers and no risks to bystanders. Compare that to a product public health pushes on smokers: Chantix. That product has also been on the market for 10 years, resulting in numerous reports of serious adverse effects, including over 500 deaths. Because of this, the FDA requires a “black box” warning of the serious side effects. Regardless, the FDA stated that the benefits of quitting smoking outweighed even those significant risks.

The same standard should apply to e-cigarettes and vapor products. Clearly, with no serious adverse reports, no deaths and no harmful levels of any of the chemicals detected to date, vapor products are unquestionably a benefit that outweighs the risks. It’s time Public Health officials acknowledge that fact and stop this irrational war on these products.

Should they be sold to minors? No. But it is already against the law to sell to minors in Wisconsin. However, all of the scare mongering being done by Public Health is keeping thousands adult smokers in Wisconsin from switching. THAT is what’s truly bad for Wisconsin’s children.

Kristin Noll-Marsh
Wisconsin Smoke-free Alternatives Coalition

Call to Action: St Croix County Vaping Ban

Call_to_Action_IconSt. Croix County’s proposed amendments to “Resolution 34” redefines vaping as “smoking” and bans use on County property, including parks and fair grounds. While the County may have an argument for the right to prohibit vaping inside its own workplaces, banning the use of vapor products at public outdoor spaces, such as parks and fair grounds, is completely unreasonable and groundless.

This issue will be discused at the next St Croix Health and Human Sevices Board meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 5:30 p.m. at the County Board Room, 1101 Carmichael Road, Hudson, Wisconsin. If the Board agrees with this amendment, it will recommend to the Administration Committee the inclusion of E-Cigarettes to an updated policy or ordinance.

As it’s almost a guarantee that the Health and Human Servies Board will push this to the Administration Committee, we are recommending members focus on contacting the members of the Administration Committee. The next Committee meeting is scheduled for April 15th, but this proposal is not on the agenda.  It may be on the agenda for the following meeting on May 5th. Please contact the committee members (see below) as soon as possible!

 


ADVOCACY SUGGESTIONS

1)  Email and call the members of the St. Croix Administraton Committee to explain why you oppose efforts to ban the use of vapor products on outdoor County property, and (2) attend any meetings and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to define smoke-free e-cigarette use as smoking (see Suggested Talking Points listed below.)

2) Contact local media (television station producers and newspaper editors) to tell your story and explain why this ordinance is bad for public health and actually encourages smokers to keep smoking.

3) Post comments on online news stories about this proposed ordinance telling your story and why you oppose the ordinance (see partial  list below.)

4) For social networking users, the  Twitter and Facebook accounts that could be found for the Committee have also been included with their contact information. Let them know how you feel!

5) Share this blog post on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google +)  and in any area vaping groups. Get your supportive family members and frioends to also share!

If you are on Facebook and want to get more involved, be sure to join the Wisconsin Smoke-free Alternatives Coalition group.

6) Contact all of your local vape shops and let them know that they need to fight this ordinance (no more vaping in their shop.) Retailers can contact their customers, make them aware of the proposed ordinance and get them to attend hearings.

7) Even if you do not wish to speak publicly, be sure to attend meetings and rallies as an audience member to show a strong, united front and to make clear to the media and lawmakers that such actions are hurting real people.

(See Massachusetts town snuffs out tobacco ban after outcry as an example of what a strong show of opposition can do, but please always remain calm and respectful. What ultimately changed changed minds in this case was the sheer numbers of people showing up, not the disruption of the proceedings.)

As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during any meetings with lawmakers and/or media (unless requested), avoid the use of “vape slang” (ie. “juice”) and foul language, and act in an otherwise respectful manner.


DOCUMENTATION AND LINK

St. Croix County Health and Human Services Board Meeting Agenda (pg 49): http://stcroixcountywi.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1649&Inline=True

News Coverage (Please leave a comment, even on the positive stories!):
N/A

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

1. You are a St. Croix-area or Wisconsin resident and you oppose banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited on County properties, specifically outdoor spaces such as parks and fair grounds. (If you are responding to this Call to Action and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to St. Croix on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life. (Avoid using slang terms such as “juice.”)

3. Clarify that:

a.  Smoking bans are ostensibly enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been found to pose a risk to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-cigarettes are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.

b.  The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.

c.  A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found “no apparent concern” for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under “worst case” assumptions about exposure.

d.  Electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor (“discreet vaping”).  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.

e.  The ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%.

f. Many smokers first try e-cigarettes because they can use them where they cannot smoke, however, they often become “accidental quitters.” This is a documented phenomenon unique to e-cigarettes. It may take a few months or only a few days, but they inevitably stop smoking conventional cigarettes. This is why including e-cigarettes in smoking bans could have serious unintended consequences!

h. By prohibiting vapor product use even outdoors, the County will also be sending a strong message to traditional smokers that e-cigarettes are no safer than smoking. This will actually maintain the number of smokers in St. Croix rather than help reduce smoking. This is a far more realistic risk to public health than any unfounded concerns about possible youth or non-smoker use uptake.

In fact, the most recent report by the CDC showed that the dramatic increase in e-cigarette use over that past 3 years has not led to an increase in youth smoking. Youth smoking of traditional cigarttes continues to decline to record low levels.

i. The children of smoking parents are far more likely to become smokers than the children of non-smoking parents who see smoking behaviors in public. The children of smoking parents who quit aren’t any more likely to smoke than those of non-smoking parents. Prohibiting vapor products on County outdoor properties does little to protect the children of non-smoking parents from becoming smokers, but significantly increases the likelihood that many smoking parents won’t switch to e-cigarettes. This only serves to keep the highest-risk children at risk.

j. E-cigarette use does not promote the smoking of traditional cigarettes, nor does it threaten the gains of tobacco control over the past few decades. In fact, by normalizing e-cigarette use over traditional smoking, the efforts of tobacco control are being supported. If anything, e-cigarette usedenormalizes conventional smoking by setting the example of smokers choosing a far less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. The CDC surveys clearly show that there has been no “gateway effect” causing non-smokers to start smoking. As e-cigarettes have become more popular, all available evidence is showing that more and more smokers are quitting traditional cigarettes, including youth smokers.

k. Important Note: A typical and frequent lawmaker response to e-cigarette users who object to public use bans is “We aren’t banning all use or sales, just use where smoking is also prohibited.”

Don’t give them the opportunity to counter you in that way! Make it very clear that you understand that this is not a ban of e-cigarette sales or a ban of e-cigarette use where smoking is allowed, but that what IS proposed is still a step backward in public health, not a step forward.

4.  Direct them to the WSAC4WI.org and  CASAA.org websites, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.


CONTACT LIST

Travis Schachtner St. Croix County Chair
Phone: 715.381.4311
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TravisSchachtnerForDistrict1
T
witter: https://twitter.com/TjSchachtner
Email: district1@co.saint-croix.wi.us
1101 Carmichael Road
Hudson, WI 54016

Roy Sjoberg St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roysjobergforcountysupervisor
Twitter: N/A
Email: district5@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Jill Ann Berke St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Email: District9@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Ron Kiesler St. Croix County Vice Chair
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sccdistrict13
Email: district13@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Judy Achterhof St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Email: District17@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Dave Ostness St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Email: district10@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Roger Larson St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Email: district11@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Comma Delimited list: district1@co.saint-croix.wi.us, district5@co.saint-croix.wi.us, District9@co.saint-croix.wi.us, district13@co.saint-croix.wi.us, District17@co.saint-croix.wi.us, district10@co.saint-croix.wi.us, district11@co.saint-croix.wi.us

 

Smokescreen? Madison vapers say e-cigarettes help them quit smoking, but health effects remain largely unknown

Madison vaper
BRYNA GODAR | The Capital Times | bgodar@madison.com

Tom Smithback smoked for 40 years, burning through two packs a day. Every 10 days, he spent $144 to sustain the addiction, and people who saw him would never have guessed he was only 64.

“The smoking was killing me, slowly but surely,” Smithback said.

But he didn’t fully realize what damage it had done until June, when he discovered electronic cigarettes and started “vaping” instead of smoking. Within a month, he had quit tobacco cigarettes entirely. His blood pressure dropped from 145/80 to 122/62 and his sinuses cleared up. He feels better in the morning and he looks years younger, according to those who know him.

“You go downhill so slowly you don’t realize it,” he said. “I can’t believe the difference in someone’s health.”

Smithback still vapes daily (twisted peppermint is his preferred flavor) and is now looking forward to life beyond is 70th birthday.

Stories like Smithback’s are common among Wisconsin’s vaping community as regular smokers switch to vaping and urge others to do the same. But while researchers and health officials acknowledge the potential for reduced harm by switching, they are often far more concerned about the still-unknown dangers e-cigarettes and vaping could trigger.

“The problem is that we don’t have enough evidence right now to make a strong perception,” said Megan Piper, a researcher with University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.

The past few years have brought hundreds of studies, commentaries and news articles about electronic cigarettes, yet they are still described by opposing sides as either an incredibly effective method to end smoking or the next major public health hazard.

Both sides agree more independent research is needed.

The lesser of two evils?

Dino Spinelli, co-owner of MadTown Vapor in Cambridge, doesn’t contend vaping is better for you than giving up smoking altogether, but in comparison to cigarettes, most users say it’s a stark improvement.

“Every day, we’ve got people coming in quitting cigarettes,” Spinelli said. “We’re not saying it’s healthy for you; we’re saying it’s healthier for you than cigarettes.”

Read More >

Support Vapor Product Bill LRB 1116/5

Stop The Bans High ResAcross the country, and even in the state of Wisconsin, local governments are enacting ordinances that are based purely on public health hysteria and junk science reported by the media. These knee-jerk laws seek to protect bystanders from minimal exposure to relatively harmless vapor products (electronic cigarettes), while almost guaranteeing that thousands of smokers will continue to be exposed to the proven health risks that come from smoking. There is absolutely no risk of death from occasional exposure to vapor products, so if just one smoker continues to smoke and dies from a smoking-related disease because a law has restricted where they can use vapor products, lawmakers will have failed miserably in their goal to protect the public. Public use bans, advertising restrictions and high taxes are used as a way to disuade smokers from smoking. To use these same tactics on vapor consumers will have the unintended consequence keeping smokers smoking!

To halt the flood of proposed ordinances, Representative Joel Kleefisch (District 38), along with the Tavern League of Wisconsin and with the support of WSAC, has authored a state bill (LRB 1116/5) to exempt the use of vapor products from local smoking ordinances. Unfortunately, groups such as the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society have sent a letter filled with misinformation and baseless conjecture about vapor products to the entire legislature to oppose this bill. This petition urges your lawmakers to cosponsor and otherwise support LRB 1116/5 and stop the misguided attempts by local municipalities to restrict the use of vapor products in a way that will only result in less smokers quitting.

The deadline for this bill is Thursday, March 26th. Please click the link below and help us protect the future of vapor consumers and the lives of smokers who need incentives to switch. Be sure to also comment and tell your story about how vapor products have impacted your life and the lives of others!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION (more…)

(UPDATED) Call to Action: Madison attempting to further restrict vapor businesses

 

Updated! Call_to_Action_Icon

UPDATE 4/6/20115: Consideration of this new zoning ordinance has been pushed back to the May 4th. See video (at 00:31:30): Watch Video

Under this proposed zoning, a new vape shop that sells smoke-free products would be unreasonably and unjustifiably prohibited from opening within 500 feet of a gas station, convenience store or tobacco shop that sells combustible tobacco products. This zoning essentially protects the sale of harmful products while restricting the greater availability of and easier access to safer alternatives! This action could easily have statewide consequences, so ALL Wisconsin vapers and vape shops who support smoke-free alternatives should take action NOW!

Please keep sending emails and calling the Commissioners (see contact info below) and expressing your opposition to this ordinance!

UPDATE 3/25/15: After several vapers and shops spoke at the March 23rd meeting, this ordinance was recessed until April 6th. (See video of March 23rd meeting here, starting at 01:38:00) NOTE: It was made clear that this ordinance would NOT impact existing businesses in their current location.

Two Commissioners, Eric Sunderquist and Melissa Berger, requested further information on exactly how the zoning would impact the ability for new vapor shops to open, as well as to hear from the Mayor’s office as to the merits or rationale of singling out vapor shops for this type of zoning. They semed open to opposing this zoning. Alderman Steve King, who is apparently no fan of vapor products, quickly attempted to change the dialog, insisting that the next public hearing stay closed, to avoid any more discussion on the health debate. He insisted that was all settled during the indoor ban hearings and any new discussion should be limited to land use issues.

In that light, it is imperative that vapers and store owners attempt to meet with and write the Commissioners (see contact list below) to express their opposition and insist that the City provide clear evidence supporting why e-cigarette sales should be treated in the same way as traditional cigarette sales AND why stand-alone shops selling vapor products should be treated differently than other retail stores and gas stations that sell vapor products.

Madison Zoning Map

Areas in red show where new stores could open under the new zoning. The largest area would allow 2, maybe 3 shops at most. Others are only large enough for 1 shop.

 


 

3/23/2015: Madison is attempting to amend its tobacco zoning and licensing rules to include e-cigarette retailers. This was introduced by Mayor Soglin to the Common Council on March 3rd without debate and was referred to the Plan Commission. Based on a Google Maps search, this ordinance would severely limit new vape shops opening or expanding to new locations, based on their proximities to parks, churches, healthcare facilities, schools, playgrounds, daycare facilities, youth centers and other stores of any kind that sell tobacco! It would also impact the state’s wholesale companies, if other municipalities follow suit. (Note that existing shops ARE grandfathered and can remain open under these new zoning restrictions.)


It is imperative that ALL Madison and Wisconsin e-cigarette shops, wholesalers and consumers oppose this ordinance, as this will set a precedent that will be used in other cities around the state! 

This matter is on on the Plan Commission agenda for April 6 at 5:30 PM at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Room 201 (City-County Building)

(more…)

Local tobacco retailer checks expand to include e-cigarettes

Post CrecentLocal tobacco retailer checks that make sure stores don’t sell tobacco products to minors are expanding to include e-cigarettes in 2015, according to the Five Counties for Tobacco-Free Living Coalition.

The change is being made through the statewide Wisconsin Wins program to address e-cigarettes’ rising popularity with teens. The 2014 Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey shows 7.9 percent of our state’s high school students currently use e-cigarettes. Nationally, in 2013, 4.5 percent of high school students reported currently using e-cigarettes.

The intent of retailer tobacco compliance checks is to keep tobacco and nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, out of the hands of children. All tobacco retailers and e-cigarette businesses can be checked during scheduled tobacco compliance checks throughout Fond du Lac County.

An area of concern with e-cigarettes is that they typically come in candy and fruit flavors, making them especially appealing to young people….

Read More >

Urgent Call to Action: Wisconsin Dells (Columbia, Sauk, Adams & Juneau Counties)

It has just come to WSAC’s attention that the the City of Wisconsin Dells Legislative Committee has an e-cigarette ordinance on its agenda for this evening at 6:30 PM. The meeting is at the Municipal Building Council Chambers, 300 La Crosse Street, Wisconsin Dells.

The committee will be a discussion/decision on a proposed ordinance to create Code Sec. 16.29 “Regulating the use and sale of “electronic smoking devices.” The use of the term “electronic smoking devices” indicates this ordinance was likely written by a lobbyist for the American Lung Association, as this term has been widely used in other ordinances written by the anti-electronic cigarette organization.

The proposal is filled with wildly inaccurate and misleading statements about electronic cigarettes:
“Electronic smoking devices are currently unregulated and have been proven to emit nicotine, ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds and other toxins. Inhalation of nicotine is proven to be dangerous to everyone, especially children and pregnant women. Exposure to ultr-fine particles may exacerbate respiratory illness, such as asthma and may constrict arteries which could trigger a heart attack. The volatile organic compounds, such as formaldehyde and benzene, found in electronic smoking devices aerosols as well as conventional cigarettes smoke, are proven carcinogens.”

There is NO EVIDENCE that the vast majority of vapor products contain anything that pose a second-hand danger to children or pregnant women, exacerbate respiratory illness, constrict arteries or cause cancer.

Please see the WSAC CALL TO ACTION for contact information of the Common Council and PLAN TO ATTEND TO SPEAK!

The proposed ordinance prohibits the use of vapor devices in any place in the City where smoking of tobacco products is porhibited by law. It also bans sales to minors, which is redundant, as sales of nicotine products to minors is already prohibited by state law. Finally, it prohibits “self service” displays of vapor products.

Current city ordinance prohibits smoking per state law, but also includes outdoor smoking in the City’s 8 public parks and on the hiking trails. Last year, the Mayor proposed banning smoking in the City’s downtown. With this ordinance, the use of vapor products will also be prohibited in those places.

http://www.citywd.org/vertical/sites/%7B17E1C147-3A18-4562-88BF-7B40051DC932%7D/uploads/agenda_legislative_03092015.pdf

Please download, print and hand out the flyer below to fellow vapers and vape shops!

Wis Dells Flyer pic

Please check back frequently for updates and join the Wisconsin Smoke-free Alternatives Coalition on Facebook!

The public is welcome (and strongly encouragd) to attend these meetings and address the lawmakers with their concerns and comments. Arrive early to sign up on the registration form to speak.


ADVOCACY SUGGESTIONS

1)  Email and call the mayor and other members of the City of Wisconsin Dells Legislative Committee and City Council (listed below) to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend any meetings and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to define smoke-free e-cigarette use as smoking (see Suggested Talking Points listed below.)

2) Contact local media (television station producers and newspaper editors) to tell your story and explain why this ordinance is bad for public health and actually encourages smokers to keep smoking.

3) Post comments on online news stories about this proposed ordinance telling your story and why you oppose the ordinance (see partial  list below.)

4) For social networking users, the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the Common Council alders have also been included with their contact information. Let them know how you feel!

5) Share this blog post on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google +)  and in any area vaping groups. Get your supportive family members and frioends to also share!

If you are on Facebook and want to get more involved, be sure to join the Wisconsin Smoke-free Alternatives Coalition group.

6) Contact all of your local vape shops and let them know that they need to fight this ordinance (no more vaping in their shop.) Retailers can contact their customers, make them aware of the proposed ordinance and get them to attend hearings.

7) Even if you do not wish to speak publicly, be sure to attend meetings and rallies as an audience member to show a strong, united front and to make clear to the media and lawmakers that such actions are hurting real people.

(See Massachusetts town snuffs out tobacco ban after outcry as an example of what a strong show of opposition can do, but please always remain calm and respectful. What ultimately changed changed minds in this case was the sheer numbers of people showing up, not the disruption of the proceedings.)

As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during any meetings with lawmakers and/or media (unless requested), avoid the use of “vape slang” (ie. “juice”) and foul language, and act in an otherwise respectful manner.


DOCUMENTATION AND LINK

March 9, 2015 Legislative Committee Agenda (Includes new proposed agenda beginning on page 29):
http://www.citywd.org/vertical/sites/%7B17E1C147-3A18-4562-88BF-7B40051DC932%7D/uploads/agenda_legislative_03092015.pdf

News Coverage (Please leave a comment, even on the positive stories!):
N/A

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

1. You are a Wisconsin Dells-area or Wisconsin resident and you oppose banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited. (If you are responding to this Call to Action and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to Madison on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life. (Avoid using slang terms such as “juice.”)

3. Clarify that:

a.  Smoking bans are ostensibly enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been found to pose a risk to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-cigarettes are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.

b.  The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.

c.  A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found “no apparent concern” for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under “worst case” assumptions about exposure.

d.  Electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor (“discreet vaping”).  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.

e.  The ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%.

f. Losing the ability to test e-liquids before purchasing will have a significant and negative impact on your ability to purchase/sell e-liquids.

g. Many smokers first try e-cigarettes because they can use them where they cannot smoke, however, they often become “accidental quitters.” This is a documented phenomenon unique to e-cigarettes. It may take a few months or only a few days, but they inevitably stop smoking conventional cigarettes. This is why including e-cigarettes in smoking bans could have serious unintended consequences!

h. By making e-cigarette users go outdoors, the City will also be sending a strong message to traditional smokers that e-cigarettes are no safer than smoking. This will actually maintain the number of smokers in Madison, rather than help reduce smoking. This is a far more realistic risk to public health than any unfounded concerns about possible youth or non-smoker use uptake.

In fact, the most recent report by the CDC showed that the dramatic increase in e-cigarette use over that past 3 years has not led to an increase in youth smoking. Youth smoking of traditional cigarttes continues to decline to record low levels.

i. The children of smoking parents are far more likely to become smokers than the children of non-smoking parents who see smoking behaviors in public. The children of smoking parents who quit aren’t any more likely to smoke than those of non-smoking parents. Prohibiting vapor products in public does little to protect the children of non-smoking parents from becoming smokers, but significantly increases the likelihood that many smoking parents won’t switch to e-cigarettes. This only serves to keep the highest-risk children at risk.

j. E-cigarette use does not promote the smoking of traditional cigarettes, nor does it threaten the gains of tobacco control over the past few decades. In fact, by normalizing e-cigarette use over traditional smoking, the efforts of tobacco control are being supported. If anything, e-cigarette usedenormalizes conventional smoking by setting the example of smokers choosing a far less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. The CDC surveys clearly show that there has been no “gateway effect” causing non-smokers to start smoking. As e-cigarettes have become more popular, all available evidence is showing that more and more smokers are quitting traditional cigarettes, including youth smokers.

k. Important Note: A typical and frequent lawmaker response to e-cigarette users who object to public use bans is “We aren’t banning all use or sales, just use where smoking is also prohibited.”

Don’t give them the opportunity to counter you in that way! Make it very clear that you understand that this is not a ban of e-cigarette sales or a ban of e-cigarette use where smoking is allowed, but that what IS proposed is still a step backward in public health, not a step forward.

4.  Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.


CONTACT LIST

Legislative Committee

Mayor Brian Landers
300 La Crosse Street
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Office: 608-254-2012 x408
Email: brianlanders@dellscitygov.com

Alderman Mike Freel, Chair
411 Wisconsin Avenue
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(608) 254-6703
Email: mfreel@dellscitygov.com

Alderman Ed Wojnicz
1407 Michigan Avenue
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
608-254-7591
Email: ewojnicz@dellscitygov.com

Alderman Ed Fox
1002 Washington Avenue
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(608) 254-7853
Email: efox@dellscitygov.com

Other City Council Members

Alderman Jesse DeFosse
502 Washington
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(c) 608-345-0143
Email: jdefosse@dellscitygov.com

Alderman Dar Mor
23 Kansas Avenue
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
608-254-4559
Email: dmor@dellscitygov.com

Comma delimited email list: brianlanders@dellscitygov.com, mfreel@dellscitygov.com, mfreel@dellscitygov.com, ewojnicz@dellscitygov.com, efox@dellscitygov.com, jdefosse@dellscitygov.com, dmor@dellscitygov.com

Johnson Creek Smoke Juice Founder Speaks Out Against Public Vapor Bans

By Adam Tobias | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. — Christian Berkey could almost feel his jaw hit the ground when, almost two years ago, he was speaking with a health commissioner in New York about electronic cigarettes.

Johnson-Creek-EnterprisesBerkey, founder and CEO of Johnson Creek Enterprises, the second-largest producer of e-liquid in the world, couldn’t believe the public official thought users lit the electronic devices and inhaled smoke just like traditional cigarettes.

That conversation took place, Berkey says, just an hour before the commissioner was supposed to vote on guidelines for e-cigarettes.

“It scared the hell out of me,” Berkey told Wisconsin Reporter. “Unfortunately, that kind of thing is not an isolated incident. There are staggering numbers of legislators who are perfectly willing to vote on measures concerning electronic cigarettes, when, in fact, they know next to nothing about them.”

Because the e-cigarette industry is still relatively new, scientific evidence regarding human health effects is limited. But that hasn’t stopped government officials from passing more than 450 state and local laws restricting the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems.

Now one of Berkey’s worst fears, something he calls sheer irresponsible lunacy, has come to his home state.

Read More >